En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - September 23, 2004

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Smarty Plants on mowing schedules
Answered by: Stephen Brueggerhoff

QUESTION:

What would be the ideal mowing schedule to allow for a spring and summer bloom of wildflowers? My neighborhood maintains it's own roadsides and has the opportunity to increase the number of wildflowers and control any mowing that would be done in these areas.

ANSWER:

As you have stated, when, where and how you mow will greatly affect the vegetation you have on your site. Depending on your growing season, maintenance mowing at around 6 to 8 inches in early Spring (say, mid to late February, again depending on your ecoregion), can be performed & not have a lasting detrimental impact on the species that are overwintering & actively growing toward bloom. Regarding Fall, we recommend mowing pastures and predominant grass occupied areas that may contain wildflowers after they have gone to seed to allow the plants to spread and return the following year. On average we advise folks to mow at a height of 6 to 8 inches, however, the mowing height is greatly dependent on the existing plant community and desired outcome.

The Wildflower Center offers consulting services to help landowners manage property. We specialize in savannas and wildflower meadows. If you are interested in our consulting services go to our Consulting webpage, or contact Steve Windhager, Director of Landscape Restoration, at 512-292-4200. If you live in the area, you can set up an appointment for "free" advice if you come to the Center and bring the necessary, photos, maps, plans etc.. to help us understand your project. Billing begins when our staff visit your property.

 

More Wildflowers Questions

Will a gift of bluebonnet seeds grow in Massachusetts?
July 06, 2009 - I recently received a gift of bluebonnet seeds and would like to know if they are suitable to grow in Massachusetts. We live in Zone 5. If so, would they be considered an annual due to our hard winter...
view the full question and answer

Will the new bluebonnet plants survive the winter?
October 31, 2009 - I live in Leander, and we've had 19 1/2 inches of rain in the past three weeks. ALL of our bluebonnets are coming up! Can they survive the winter?
view the full question and answer

Landscaping a Fence with Native Plants for Central Texas
March 08, 2013 - I'm looking to landscape my fence that I've lined with woven bamboo. The area gets the hot afternoon sun in summer and is pretty shady in winter. The plants need to be drought and heat tolerant. I'...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen privacy hedge and drought-resistant garden
July 21, 2008 - I am looking for a hardy evergreen hedge for privacy in Northern Michigan. I have sandy soil. Also am interested in planting a drought garden with mostly sun in same sandy soil.
view the full question and answer

How far do Bluebonnet seeds go and what is it called from Hutto TX
April 27, 2010 - How far do Bluebonnets throw their seed and what is it called? THANKS!
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center